At VMworld 2017 in Las Vegas one of the big announcements made by VMware had to do with apps from the cloud. On Tuesday VMware announced Workspace ONE App Express. Workspace ONE App Express is designed to provide quick-provisioning of application you normally would run in a RDSH/SBC farm. Applications like browsers, viewers and more of that kind. VMware announced that FRAME will be the engine behind Workspace ONE Express. This article is my thoughts on this announcement and information for you on what the partnership is all about.
Workspace ONE App Express
So if we take a look at Workspace ONE App Express we have to make sure not to confuse it with Workspace ONE. Workspace ONE App Express is enabled from within Workspace ONE so that the apps you provision there will be available in the Workspace ONE portal. Basically it’s a plugin you enable in Workspace ONE
Perhaps the naming of the product should have been a bit different, I think many customers will be confused by this naming. I assume (didn’t ask them) that they wanted to add this under the Workspace ONE umbrella and decided to just add App Express to it. If you look at the video you will understand what it is and where it is different. VMware Workspace ONE was one of the few products in the market to allow provisioning of any application. This announcement expands this possibility.
The backbone of Workspace ONE App Express is FRAME, VMware partnered with them to make the delivery of application from the cloud possible. What does FRAME offer in this partnership?
with FRAME VMware gets to ability to;
- Provision applications in the Cloud, installation and execution in the Cloud
- Billing, pay as you grow
- A HTML5 protocol optimized for Cloud delivery
- Secure access to applications
FRAME offers a solution that allows users to connect to applications without the use of a client, plugin or so. They can just use a default browser to access the application, secure and easy. Applications, as you see in the video, are installed in a Cloud based virtual machine and once you’re done integrated within Workspace ONE.
FRAME offers default connections to storage providers so when you need to store data from one of the apps you enable you can connect to one of them. The ones supported by FRAME (and thus VMware Workspace ONE App Express) are;
- Google Drive
Why FRAME and not a VMware solution?
I for one was thinking why VMware could not offer this with own products. The problem with VMware solutions is that they are designed for an on-premises solution whereas FRAME was born in the cloud. An on-premises solution will never work optimal in the Cloud no matter how much you try. We see this with VMware and Citrix so it is no surprise that VMware looked to the market for a solution. FRAME offers this cloud born solution.
Another thing we see is that sales of On-premises solutions sale are not flying as they used to. customers are looking more and more for Cloud solutions in some form. VMware has some offerings there but the solutions offered as Horizon Cloud or Horizon on Azure are on-premises solutions changed to fit cloud. They work well but there is nothing simple about it. what Workspace ONE App Express with FRAME offers this simplicity.
VMware has Blast which is an HTML5 protocol so you would wonder why not use that. I asked them about it, the FRAME partnership is not only about the protocol but also about the billing and management in total. If VMware wanted to build something like this they would need to create a management/billing platform themselves. The investment in this would be huge hence the partnership.
What will be see with updates? Will VMware have a license to update FRAME themselves like the previous Teradici PCoIP protocol deal? VMware will not update or manage the FRAME protocol, all updates will be handled by FRAME, VMware will start with this partnership and see where it leads them. I’m interested to see what the future brings.